“History,” managers, money, and Murray

October 18th, 2006 → 8:42 am @ // One Comment

Ah, yes: the burden of getting back into the swing of doing “work” work. It allows time for that flurry of midnight-on-Sunday posts, but some weekdays are tougher…

Which doesn’t mean there’s not time for some thoughts and updates. (Drumroll, fanfare, etc).

* The Mets loss last night has Jayson Stark claiming that a Cardinals NLCS victory would make history: “When the calendar says it’s October and a team that won 83 games is on the verge of beating a team that won 97 games, that’s more than just an upset. It’s an upset that slips instantly into the realm of myth and legend.” I call bullshit. Wild-card teams have won the World Series three of the last four years. The Mets are missing their ace, their starter, and one of their starting outfielders. The Mets were favored, with most of the ‘experts’ giving them the series in six or seven games, but no one expected a route. Coming back from an 0-3 deficit? That’s history. Beating the Mets in a seven game season? If it happens, it’s a good story for another week or so, or until whichever NL team makes it gets its ass handed to them by the Tigers.

* In his ESPN.com Insider column, Buster Olney discusses what makes a successful manager. (It’s clearly more than simply winning 95 games. See Little, Grady.) Olney puts “Can he lead/does he engender respect” first, with in-game strategizing third (out of four). I’m with Buster on the lack of importance of in-game management, and I generally agree with the “can he lead” thing, although I think the single most important job a manager has is getting a bunch of rich, indulged, jealous, back-biting man-children to stay inspired during the course of an exhausting, numbing, 162-game season.

* For those of you actually interested in how the publishing industry wastes money, Monday’s Journal article (“Dream Scenario: In Era of Blockbuster Books, One Publisher Rolls the Dice”) is well worth reading. Unfortunately, it’s only available to online subscribers. It’s essentially a summary of how Holt managed to put all its eggs in an incredibly leaky basket; the most amazing thing about this article is that the book’s editor, who charitably can be said to have cost his company more than a million bucks, decided to cooperate with the reporter.

* And, of course, there’s good old Murray. The Chass-man has been on a roll this week; such a roll, in fact, that the mere thought of discussing each and every one of his articles makes me feel slightly ill. But here are some quick highlights:

In Monday’s column, Chass writes that while it’s “difficult to imagine a worse performance” than the one Steve Trachsel turned in on the mound for the Mets, the Elias Sports Bureau — Chass’s handy substitute for, you know, reporting — tells him that actually, some pitchers have fared worse in the playoffs.

Then, on Tuesday, Chass acknowledges he was wrong, but naturally he’s not to blame: “Although it said here yesterday that Trachsel’s outing wasn’t the worst start in a postseason game, Elias Sports Bureau determined that by one measurement it was.”

Finally, in today’s Times, Chass helpfully explains that players want higher batting averages: “Going 2 for 17 means Wright is hitting .118. That beats .063 (1 for 16), but it is nevertheless a minuscule average…”

As always, Chass’s columns are free to the reader, unlike the paper’s other sports columnists…


Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & Book Publishing & Buster Olney & Jayson Stark & Murray Chass

One Comment → ““History,” managers, money, and Murray”


  1. HFXBOB

    11 years ago

    Wow, that’s some serious hyperbole from Mr. Stark about the magnitude of the Cards potential upset of the Mets. As pointed out, wild-card teams have been doing this regularly of late, the Mets are without Pedro etc. Also the Cards are not your usual 83-win team with their nucleus of veteran talent. It would be more accurate to say the 83 win season was underperformance due to injuries etc.

    The real story here, and one that will shock the sports world in days to come, is the brilliant, audacious hoax being perpetrated by the Cards. That isn’t Jeff Weaver pitching, it’s really his more talented brother Jered.

    Reply

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